Immediately following yesterday’s news that Yoenis Cespedes had agreed to re-sign with the Mets on a new four-year deal, speculation about the possibility of a Jay Bruce trade began. Reports earlier in the week had indicated that the Mets would try to trade Bruce in the event of a new Cespedes deal, but Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Curtis Granderson is drawing more trade interest than Bruce in early talks. Per Carig, the Mets aren’t closed off entirely to the idea of moving Granderson over Bruce, but the decision will be influenced by the strength of the return they’d get in a Granderson deal. The Blue Jays are one team with interest in Granderson, according to FanRag’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link).
Meanwhile, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports that the Mets’ “overwhelmingly strong” preference is to move Bruce as opposed to one of Granderson, Michael Conforto or Juan Lagares (Twitter links). While the Mets have gotten calls on all four outfielders, DiComo conveys that the Mets have “made it clear” that neither Conforto nor Lagares will be going anywhere. The Tigers made an attempt at prying Conforto away from the Mets when they asked for him in return for J.D. Martinez prior to New York’s deal with Cespedes, Carig reports in his column, but that lopsided asking price predictably didn’t gain any traction with the Mets. (The Post’s Mike Puma notes that the the Mets still consider Conforto a building block moving forward even after his rough 2016 season.)
The financial difference between Bruce and Granderson isn’t especially great, with Bruce set to earn $13MM next year to Granderson’s $15MM. However, Granderson has been a quietly productive member of the Mets since signing his four-year, $60MM pact prior to the 2013 season, hitting a combined .241/.342/.436 and averaging 25 homers per season. While neither slugger has hit lefties whatsoever in recent years, Granderson is better-equipped than Bruce to handle center field despite being six years older. It should also be noted, of course, that Bruce’s tenure with the Mets was mostly a struggle. Though he caught fire late in the year and went 12-for-25 with four homers over his final eight games, Bruce batted just .219/.294/.391 as a member of the Mets, including a .174/.252/.285 skid prior to that eight-game heater to close out the year.